Follow-up Questions & Answers
I received many questions about the time-in example in Part 3. Here are some brief answers to the most frequently asked questions...
The preliminary answer to all the questions is best expressed by Albert Einstein's famous thought: You can't solve the problem at the level of thinking that created it.
In fact, the main purpose of time-in is to help you establish a state of mind that's conducive to creative problem-solving. And often that state of mind IS the solution, since children tend to mirror their parents' states.
Your natural creativity is undermined by conventional, competitive, right/wrong thinking: the view of life as a competition for scarce resources — a zero-sum game that you can't win unless another loses.
With time-in, you release that fear-based perspective and connect with abundant Well-Being. You don't "fix" your child, you get in touch with your Authentic Self. And when you deeply know that All Is Well, your child comes to know it, too — just by being in your Presence.
This is how great performing artists can uplift thousands of people at once. It's how healers perform "miracles."
Q: Isn't time-in rewarding bad behavior?
A: No. It's simply being kind. When you think outside the conventional box, you don't automatically perceive unwanted behavior as "bad." It's like asking, "Isn't nursing a crying baby rewarding crying?" Compassionate parents don't consider crying to be bad, so we don't worry that we might be rewarding it. Like crying, aggression signals a need to connect with Well-Being.
The child is always doing the best s/he can with the skills, instincts, and level of consciousness s/he has.
Q: How does the child learn that the behavior was wrong?
A: When you embrace the Creative Pleasure Principle, there's no need to deem any behavior as "wrong," nor to make a rule prohibiting it. Aggression simply feels unpleasant in comparison to the soulful ecstasy of loving partnership.
But aggression feels better than disempowerment, so the "aggressor" is actually trying (unskillfully) to follow pleasure back to the empowerment of partnership. The impulse is healthy; the expression needs refinement. Time-in facilitates that refinement.
Conventional thinking doesn't trust pleasure because the culture has demonized it. Too bad, since pleasure essentially drives all of Creation.
Q: Isn't the "victim" being neglected?
A: To keep the example simple, I wrote that nobody was hurt. Ideally, there would be other competent people on the scene (adults or older children) employing the same principles in partnership with the parent of the "aggressor." With nobody making anyone else "wrong," everyone's creative energy could be focused on restoring the collective well-being.
Q: What if I have two or more kids who need time-in at the same time?
A: The question presumes that time-in is like "quality time" or "special time," which it is not. Getting your exclusive attention isn't the primary benefit of time-in, nor is it necessary. Your children benefit simply by being close to your "heart field" — the loving Energy you emanate as you attend to your own Center. For more info on the heart field, read this article (pdf).
If you have additional questions or comments about Time-In, please contact me.